Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Retiring of Baseballism

My activity on this blogpage has been somewhat limited as of late. Life has a way of doing that. I can write about Baseball all day or do things like work, sleep and raise my kids. Guess I don't have a choice. ;) But my closing of this blogpage doesn't mean that I am not planning to write about Baseball. No ladies and gentlement. I am retiring this blogpage to open a new one which I am calling Baseball Sisco Kid Style. I'll try to continue with the same kind of writing that you all have been used to here on Baseballism but with a bit of a fresher take on the game we all love.

Thank you very much for all of your support throughout the past 3+ years. I sincerely appreciate it.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Craig Biggio IS A Hall of Famer

Contrary to the results of the announced elections for the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame vote, I stand in my belief that Craig Biggio is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Before I go any further in what I believe will be a diatribe, here is the published results of the vote for the Hall:

NameVotes (Pct.)Yrs on ballot
Craig Biggio388 (68.2%)1
Jack Morris385 (67.7%)14
Jeff Bagwell339 (59.6%)3
Mike Piazza329 (57.8%)1
Tim Raines297 (52.2%)6
Lee Smith272 (47.8%)11
Curt Schilling221 (38.8%)1
Roger Clemens214 (37.6%)1
Barry Bonds206 (36.2%)1
Edgar Martinez204 (35.9%)4
Alan Trammell191 (33.6%)12
Larry Walker123 (21.6%)3
Fred McGriff118 (20.7%)4
Dale Murphy106 (18.6%)15
Mark McGwire96 (16.9%)7
Don Mattingly75 (13.2%)13
Sammy Sosa71 (12.5%)1
Rafael Palmeiro50 (8.8%)3
Bernie Williams19 (3.3%)2
Kenny Lofton18 (3.2%)1
Sandy Alomar Jr.16 (2.8%)1
Julio Franco6 (1.1%)1
David Wells5 (0.9%)1
Steve Finley4 (0.7%)1
Shawn Green2 (0.4%)1
Aaron Sele1 (0.2%)1
Jeff Cirillo0 (0%)1
Royce Clayton0 (0%)1
Jeff Conine0 (0%)1
Roberto Hernandez0 (0%)1
Ryan Klesko0 (0%)1
Jose Mesa0 (0%)1
Reggie Sanders0 (0%)1
Mike Stanton0 (0%)1
Todd Walker0 (0%)1
Rondell White0 (0%)1
Woody Williams0 (0%)1
****Courtesy of the Baseball Writers Association of America website

Let me touch on the Bonds, Clemens and the other main steroid era players/culprits/suspects first. The votes that Bonds and Clemens got were near what I said they'd get. I said around 40%. I'm fine with McGwire (16.9%), Sosa (12.9%) and Palmiero (8.8%) though I'd say Sosa and Palmiero should have more than McGwire since they was ten times the player McGwire was. I'll get to the other players at another time. I want to focus on Biggio.

So you're trying to tell me that reaching the 3,000 hit plateau while staying loyal to ONE organization and being one of the best to play your respective position is no longer the criteria for being a first ballot Hall of Famer? You're trying to tell me that a guy who played with guts, a dirty uniform, never saying he couldn't play, not running for more money to a bigger market while doing it day in and day out everyday is NOT a Hall of Famer? I say you're full of it to those 39 votes that Biggio needed for enshrinement. Who else can you say was the best at second base during the years that Craig Biggio played? Jeff Kent comes to mind...and Craig Biggio.

Allow me to quote Chris Smith of in his article Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds Robbed Of MLB Hall Of Fame Entry for this paragraph:
In 20 seasons with the Houston Astros, Biggio put put up over 3,000 hits, nearly 1,200 RBIs, more than 400 stolen bases and 668 doubles, good for fifth-most all-time. His career WAR according to Baseball Reference is 62.1, ranking 88th among position players and higher than those of Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew and Hank Greenberg. Fans who watched Biggio play will remember him for his rare combination of speed, power and an interminable work ethic constantly on display both at the plate and in the field.
The voters dropped the ball. Plain and simple.

Allow me to touch on something else that is bothering me. Howard Bryant of in his article Drawing a blank of a HOF ballot says the following:
As it turned out, I sent my 2013 Hall of Fame ballot in blank...This wasn't science. It wasn't a clever attack in the three-front culture war among the players, the SABRs and the BBWAAs. It wasn't a protest either. It was just one voter's inability to reach a comfortable verdict on a colossal mess that for years no one wanted to take responsibility for and that isn't going to get any less complicated as time goes on. 
This is what I say to this. If you don't vote for anyone, then you lose your right to vote. Plain and simple. I respect his colleague T.J. Quinn's stance concerning the hall in his article The HOF: Why I Stopped Voting. This man gave up his right to vote rather than continually send in blank ballots. He lost the excitement for the vote. Instead of being a part of the problem, he decided to take himself out of the debate. That I can respect and applaud him for. Not voting is something that I can't respect and/or applaud.

There needs to be a change in the way the vote is undertaken especially since the writers were the witnesses (if not more so) to the "damage" as they put it that the Steroid era placed on the game of Baseball. The writers did not nothing but write elaborate articles on the exploits of McGwire and Sosa as they saved Baseball from the spectre of the 1994 Baseball Strike. They knew what was going on more than us since they are on the field, in the locker room, in the press box, in the hotels and bars before and after games. They have no place to be pious and "holier than thou" when it comes to their placing the fates of players in their hands and votes. It wasn't like they were reporting for inside of a bubble. They were on the field, in the locker room, in the press boxes. THEY KNEW. Now they act as if they are better than everyone else and are trying to protect the sanctity of the game. They are full of it and to avoid getting crass and profane you all know what I mean by what they are full of.

T.J. Quinn has a potential solution to a change on how players are elected to the Hall of Fame:
But at the end of the day, the game, the Hall and journalism would be better served if voting was limited to a select group of veterans, historians and even journalists -- if they're the right journalists. Columnists and national writers who have devoted their careers to the game, not dabblers. That wouldn't solve the problem of how to evaluate players in the age of modern chemistry, but at least the right group would be making the call.
But alas, I don't see the BBWAA giving up their position. They have leverage on the game of Baseball and will always hide behind their stance of "Well, this player played in the Steroid Era so there is a black cloud over their accomplishments even if they didn't fail a test".

So you know what I say? Let's take that burden off of your backs and give up your vote. No? You want your cake and eat it too? Then I say just close the Hall. Simply close it so you don't have to vote. So you don't have to be burdened with such a hard decision on who is tainted and who is not. Just close the Hall.

Close the Hall until every player that played in the Steroid Era is done playing. So that means, Derek Jeter doesn't get in. Albert Pujols doesn't get it. Mariano Rivera doesn't get in and so on and so forth. Do those players deserve to get in? Absolutely. But based on the point of view taken by the writers who sit like the Gods on Mount Olympus dishing out their judgment at will, they might not. After all they did play during the Steroid Era.

Today is a sad day in the game I so love. It is a sad day for Baseball.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Predictions For The 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

We are a few days away from the announcement of who will be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This year's ballot marks the eligibility of players that have the cloud of the Steroid Era hanging over their careers. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa among others are some of those whose clouds are the darkest. Here is the complete list of players eligible for this year's vote:
PercentYrs on
Dale Murphy8314.5%14
Jack Morris38266.7%13
Don Mattingly10217.8%12
Alan Trammell21136.8%11
Lee Smith29050.6%10
Mark McGwire11219.5%6
Tim Raines27948.7%5
Edgar Martinez20936.5%3
Fred McGriff13723.9%3
Jeff Bagwell32156.0%2
Rafael Palmeiro7212.6%2
Larry Walker13122.9%2
Bernie Williams559.6%1
Sandy Alomar Jr.
Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Jeff Cirillo
Royce Clayton
Roger Clemens
Jeff Conine
Steve Finley
Julio Franco
Shawn Green
Roberto Hernandez
Ryan Klesko
Kenny Lofton
Jose Mesa
Mike Piazza
Reggie Sanders
Curt Schilling
Aaron Sele
Sammy Sosa
Mike Stanton
Todd Walker
David Wells
Rondell White
Woody Williams
***Chart courtesy of the BBWAA website

Just to specify the rules for being placed on the ballot. Players must be retired for a full five years after their last at-bat and may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in the previous year.

So looking at the list, who do I think get's the necessary 75% for enshrinement?

I believe the Baseball writers will elect the two main "Killer B's" of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell of Houston Astros fame, as well as, arguably the best offensive catcher in the history of the game Mike Piazza. With Jeff Bagwell already having 56% of the vote in his first two years of eligibility, it would make sense to enshrine these two lifelong teammates together. At least it makes sense on a sentimental level. In terms of Mike Piazza, I've already made my case for him in my prior post Mike Piazza Hall of Famer 2013. I think Jack Morris gets closer to reaching 75%. He's already at 66.7% with two years left.

In terms of the players I mentioned linked to the Steroid Era, I think Bonds and Clemens will get a substantial part of the vote in their favor. Something within the 40% range. Sosa probably a bit less and McGwire will remain at around 15%-20% of the vote. Palmiero is a bit of a wild card. I'm not sure how the voters will see him past the 12.6% of the vote he got last year. He is the one guy who has a positive test attributed to him. So we'll have to see.

Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Tim Raines will continue their slow climb up to 75%. Schilling will get some votes, but not enough for 75%. I believe it'll take him within 5-10 years to get 75%. Bernie Williams will stay on the ballot getting close to his 9.6%.

I don't see Trammell, Mattingly, Smith making too much headway in the voting and sadly, Dale Murphy will no longer be eligible after this year with his reaching his 15th and final year on the ballot. I don't see him making a 60%+ increase in voting to get enshrinement. The fact that he has only gotten 14.5% is a travesty.

I think the player association needs to make a better case of getting these players stats and achievement out to the younger voters who may have never had a chance to see them play. With all the video that is available, they should build campaigns to better highlight these players and show them things that the younger voters might not know about them.

Ok folks, there we go. That's how I feel it will play out when the announcement is made on January 9, 2013. BTW, here is the list of the players that will be first year eligible in 2014:
Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Jose Cruz Jr., Ray Durham, Damion Easley, Keith Foulke, Eric Gagne, Tom Glavine, Luis Gonzalez, Scott Hatteberg, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jeff Kent, Jon Lieber, Esteban Loaiza, Paul Lo Duca, Greg Maddux, Matt Morris, Mike Mussina, Trot Nixon, Hideo Nomo, Jay Payton, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Shannon Stewart, Frank Thomas, Mike Timlin, Steve Trachsel, Jose Vidro
Five names stand out to me on that list for potential first-year enshrinement:
Tom Glavine
Jeff Kent
Greg Maddux
Mike Mussina
Frank Thomas
2014 looks to be another star studded Hall of Fame ballot.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To Trade Or Not To Trade A-Rod

ESPN reported on a rumor that New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman may have had possible trade talks with the Miami Marlins concerning Yankee Third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Cashman denied having any trade talks. Now would this be a good move to make?

For the Yankees it would be a costly trade. Any trade for Rodriguez would require the Yankees to eat the majority of the contract that is owed to Rodriguez. To be honest, Rodriguez is only going to continue deteriorate as he ages. His goal of reaching the top of the homerun list is looking steeper by the season. Rodriguez hasn't had a full season in the last 4 seasons or so and after his performance in this postseason, I don't think he'll be able to redeem himself to both the fans and the organization. But since the team was planning to pay him anyway, maybe getting rid of him will be the right way to go.

On the Marlins side, bring Rodriguez over might help generate some fan revenue. The local kid comes home to play in front of his fellow Miamians. Perhaps the change of scenery to a less stressful media market might do Rodriguez some good. But does it outweigh the fact that the Marlins would be getting a 37-year old infielder who in essence can't play everyday with diminishing power. Who would they give up to get him. Obviously the Yankees would love to get at least a player like Giancarlo Stanton (heck, which team wouldn't) especially if they are eating 2/3 or more of the contract.

At this point this is purely speculation on my part. But I believe if the Yankees can make a move for A-Rod this offseason would be the time to do so while someone would be willing to trade for him. What do you think. Yea? Or Nay?


Saturday, October 13, 2012

2012 Baseball Bloggers Alliance

Its award time again for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) so here are my picks for the following awards:

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)
Buck Showalter
Bob Melvin
Davey Johnson

Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie)
Mike Trout
Bryce Harper
Todd Frazier

Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)
Fernando Rodney
Jim Johnson
Rafael Soriano

Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)
David Price
Gio Gonzalez
R.A. Dickey
Justin Verlander
Jared Weaver

Stan Musial Award (Top Hitter)
Miguel Cabrera
Mike Trout
Buster Posey
Derek Jeter
Andrew McCutchen
Adrian Beltre
Robinson Cano
Ryan Braun
Joe Mauer
Yeonis Cespedes

There you go.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What A Crazy 2012 Baseball Season

Even though the A's and the Rangers are going back and forth to determine who wins the AL West and who plays in the AL Wild Card one game playoff. I have to say that the end of this season tops the end of last season.

On the 162nd day of the season, you have two divisions still up for grabs with the aforementioned A's and Rangers and the AL East being squarely in the Yankees hand with a win tonight over the Boston Red Sox. The Baltimore Orioles need to beat the Tampa Bay Rays in order to keep the pressure on the Yankees.

Favored teams such as Anaheim, Boston and Philadelphia underachieved resulting on disappointing seasons. The Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds took the lead and never looked back. The Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins and New York Mets just stunk up the bed.

The Chicago White Sox, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Tampa Bay Rays and the surprising just ran out of gas and time. In the end, as maligned as Bud Selig was for introducing the second Wild Card, I believe he was vindicated with the pennant races that went straight into the last weekend of the season.

This October is going to be very exciting.


Monday, September 10, 2012

I Am A Baseball Snob

I have an admission folks. I am a Baseball snob. Why do I say that? Allow me to explain. Last night a customer interrupted a conversation I was having with a few regulars concerning the bad call on Mark Teixiera of the Yankees on Saturday night. The customer asked about whether I thought baseball needed more instant replay. A valid question which he would follow up with the arrogance of some Yankee fans saying that it doesn't matter how they are playing since they will make the playoffs like they always do. I really hate when fellow Yankee fans do that. There is never any guarantee that they will always make the playoffs. Look at the years of 1982-1994 for proof of that. But I digress.

When I tell him that no Yankee fan can take for granted that they will make the playoffs due to both the Orioles and Rays being 2 games or less behind the Yankees and the fact that they are 7-12 in their last 19 games he simply answers: Really? I didn't know that. I only follow Baseball in the last month. You could hear a pin drop over Peter Griffin's voice on Family Guy that was playing at the time. This is why I say I'm a Baseball snob. I just turned around and walked away. I just simply tuned him out.

See, I live by the philosophy that if I don't know what people are talking about I don't try to add my two cents. It happens all the time with my friends who are musicians. I just sit there and listen since I am not a musician and often don't know what they are talking about. I'll ask a question or two but aside from that, I don't want to come across like a moron by trying to act as if I know more than I do. That's what the customer I was talking to did. He was talking to me as if he watched the Yankees all season and didn't know a damn thing. He didn't know that A-Rod and Tex had spent considerable time hurt, that Jeter was having an awesome MVP-like season and that the Orioles and Rays were breathing down hard on the Yanks. He didn't even know that the Yankees were 1 game up in the AL East. How can you call yourself a fan after that as he tried to convince me. Really now. Its like I go to some of my hardcore football friends and say "I'm a fan but I only watch the Superbowl". Come on now.

I have the luxury working in a bar 5-nights a week and being able to watch Baseball from all over the country during all those 5-nights. For Christ's sake I even try to watch the NPB Baseball on Justin.TV when I am up super  late/early (depending on your schedule). So yes, I believe that I am a first class Baseball snob. Had the dude just asked how the Yankees were doing since he hadn't followed their progress it would have been a cool discussion but since he made himself out to be something he wasn't he got the Heisman pose from me and the other baseball regulars at the bar. LOL.

Here's to my fellow Baseball snobs out there. May we have an continued exciting September and even more riveting October.